Giving is part of our worship to God and living out a lifestyle of putting him first. John Wesley said that “the last part of a person to get saved is their wallet” and we understand that giving intentionally and regularly can be quite counter-cultural. The regular pattern for giving in the bible was tithes (10% of income) and offerings (additional gifts on top of the tithe).
We are thankful for what God has done in our lives and it is our conscious and free decision to give this small part back to him that was his in the first place. God loves a cheerful giver and there is no compulsion to give, although we believe it is a natural response in a lifestyle that puts God first.
Tithes and offerings is our primary way of giving to God and is done through the church. This also allows the church to extend his kingdom bringing hope, healing and the love of Jesus to a broken and hurting world.
Intentionally giving a proportion of our income (tithing) is an important part of following Jesus. This was an established pattern at the beginning of the Bible, was then outlined later on in ‘the law’ and then continued during and after the time of Jesus. It was given to God and subsequently used in the temple/storehouse/church to further God’s Kingdom and support the work of the ministry. Jesus affirmed this practice (Matt 23:23) and as a result of this, it's the starting point of how we give. We then aim to give even more as we are able. God is generous and we want to be the same.
We will find that God cares extravagantly for those who commit to tithing and giving in this way (Mal 3:10). Jesus also encouraged his followers to exceed the requirements that were set out (Matt 5:17-20) and to give freely and generously.
Offerings are those extra gifts that we give, either to individuals, charities or other organisations in addition to the tithe to God. Sometimes we find ourselves just nudged by God to respond to someone with generosity. It’s fun to obey these nudges as we watch God reveal his love and generosity to someone.